The Swedish choral conductor and music pedagogue, Dan-Olof Stenlund, first saw the light of day in northern Sweden, near the polar circle. But when his guiding star drew his gaze southwards he could not be stopped. The first halt was the Musical Academy in Stockholm, where at high tempo he completed training courses in piano, organ, cello, song and music education. He studied conducting with Eric Ericson and then continued conducting studies to Leonard Bernstein and Sergiu Celibidache.
At the age of only 36, Dan-Olof Stenlund took up the post of Professor in choral conducting at the Royal Danish Academy of Music (Det Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatorium) in Copenhagen. He is also a teacher of choral conducting at the Malmö Academy of Music (Musikhögskolan i Malmö) and member of the Royal Academy of Music (Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien).
From 1962 to 1974, Dan-Olof Stenlund was a church musician in Engelbrecht Church (Engelbrektskyrkan) in Stockholm, where he carried on an extensive choral conducting activity. In 1975, he founded the Malmö Kammarkör. Other choirs he has directed include: Norrlandskören, KFUM:s kammarkör (1957-1974), Sånggruppen Spiralerna (1961-1965), Uppsala Akademiska Kammarkör (1961-1974), KFUM-kören i Stockholm (1965-1974), Malmö Symfoniorkesters kör (1975-1993).
He could hardly have imagined that it would be the overture to a choral achievement that would echo around the world. But the road to international fame had been a long one. The long journey from the polar circle could have reached a glorius final destinatioin at this point, but Professor Stenlund still follows his guiding star. In an interview on his 50th birthday he said: "I feel like a little boy at the beginning of something exciting and unexplored. The more you learn the more there remains to be discovered".
It is not surprising therefore that the journeyings continue to extend. Dan-Olof Stenlund is an internationally sought-after choral conductor and choir pedagogue. Guest lectures at different American universities are succeeded by seminars for choral conductors and singers in Europe. And for many years, he has been one of the most eminent conductors at the big international choir festivals Europa Cantat. His awards include: Norrbymedaljen (1977) and Årets körledare (1995).